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Benefit Invitation Design Mirrors September 11 Memorial

By Anna Sekula September 14, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

The design of the invitation and the program by Marc Friedland Couture Communications was intended to mirror the look and feel of the memorial. The simple cutout squares symbolized the fountains, while the leaf pattern represented the trees planted in the plaza.

Photo: Jika González for BizBash

Just days before the memorial at the World Trade Center site was dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation hosted its annual benefit dinner, bringing supporters and officials to Cipriani Wall Street for a fund-raiser on September 7. In a nod to the opening, the event's production company, 360 Design Events, sought to articulate the architectural design in the concept for the affair, a move echoed by invitation designer Marc Friedland Couture Communications.

“We incorporated ideas based on the design [from Matthew David Hopkins] into the design of all the materials,” said Marc Friedland, whose company designed and produced the invitation along with the admittance ticket and program. Modern and unfussy, both the invitation and program bore white covers with two square cutouts that revealed a leafy page beneath. The look was modeled after the memorial itself—with the square-shaped keyholes representing the two fountains and the pattern of foliage symbolic of the plaza's grove of trees.

“What we really wanted to do was capture the poignancy,” said Friedland. “With all of our pieces, there's some thoughtfulness and a story that goes along with them. It's not just an invitation or program for the sake of being informational; it really is trying to capture some of the essence of the organization, or the event, or what is being celebrated. And that's why we took a very, very understated approach. The memorial itself is so architecturally stunning, haunting, beautiful, and still. Having that expressed in these materials was the big challenge.”

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